'Hidden Figure' to launch NC State grads into real world

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A NASA trailblazer will help launch December's graduating class at NC State University into the real world.

The university has selected Christine Mann Darden to deliver the commencement address at 9 a.m. on Dec. 19 at PNC Arena in Raleigh.

Darden's story is known around the world after being featured in the book "Hidden Figures. The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race."

The book inspired the 2016 movie of the same title.

Darden spent nearly 40 years at NASA and received dozens of honors, including two NASA medals for her research and leadership of the sonic-boom program, and for her work encouraging students to pursue math and science careers.

Darden was named the Black Engineer of the Year in Government and received a lifetime achievement award from Women in Science and Engineering.

During the NC State ceremony, Chancellor Randy Woodson will present Darden with an honorary degree.

Darden is a native of Monroe, North Carolina.
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